vegansaurus!

04/30/2012

Holy Cow vegan M&Ms! They are the yum. I got them from Vegan Essentials last week and they are SO GOOD. Like real M&Ms! They take a little longer to melt and I think the shells might be a bit crunchier but not in a bad way at all. And the chocolate is probably actually better because it’s not uber-sweet milk chocolate. Milk chocolate is for babies, am I right?! I’m always right!

Holy Cow vegan M&Ms! They are the yum. I got them from Vegan Essentials last week and they are SO GOOD. Like real M&Ms! They take a little longer to melt and I think the shells might be a bit crunchier but not in a bad way at all. And the chocolate is probably actually better because it’s not uber-sweet milk chocolate. Milk chocolate is for babies, am I right?! I’m always right!

04/20/2012

Product Review: Coracao raw vegan chocolate! G’damn!  »


The first time I saw Coracao at the Saturday Berkeley Farmers’ Market, just a few blocks from where I was living at the time, my heart melted into a puddle of love. Peeking from behind the brown and pink awning was Daniel, a handsome fellow with bright skin and a sparkle in his dreamy eyes. “Would you like to try some raw chocolate?” he asked, as if that were a question. From the first piece, I knew this was some of the best raw chocolate I had ever had. No, the best chocolate I had ever had, period.

Coracao sources the finest ingredients—ethically sourced chocolate (they make Food Empowerment Project’s list!) that is sweetened with lower-glycemic coconut palm sugar and prepared with the finest raw ingredients. Coracao is so passionate about their ingredients, that they put together an entire snazzy 12-page PDF explaining the various health benefits of antioxidant-rich chocolate, and what goes into making the perfect batch of Coracao treats. One of my favorite parts about this informative PDF, which teaches all about superfoods, is this info:

Our pure chocolates NEVER contain these “common chocolate” ingredients: Milk, hydrolysed milk protein, skimmed milk powder, lactose, de-mineralized whey powder, butter, cream, wheat or gluten, hydrogenated fats, corn syrup, soy lecithin, vanillin (artificial vanilla flavoring), refined sugar, sodium chloride (bleached, refined and de-mineralized salt), sulfur dioxide (preservative), Potassium Metabisulphite (preservative), FD&C Yellow no. 6 *E10, FD&C Yellow no. 5 *E102, FD&C Red no. 3 *E127, FD&C Red no. 40 *E129, FD&C green no. 3 *E143, FD&C Blue no. 1 *E133, FD&C Blue no. 2 *E132 (artificial food colorings), polyglycerol polyricinoleate or PGPR, ammonium phosphatide or YN, mono-diglycerides or sorbitan tri stearates (stabilizers).

I had no clue that lots of chocolate contains these things! I guess I live in a bit of a raw vegan bubble. I commend Coracao for taking such steps to inform the public about the crap being passed off as chocolate ingredients. Ammonium phosphatide? Whose colon deserves that? I mean, really.

Coracao makes several different confections, all of which contain ”superfoods” that have been linked to various health/taste benefits. Here’s a sampling of what they sell at the Farmers’ Markets throughout the Bay: Almond coconut dream, live almond heart [Ed.: Creepy name! But I like! I think!], caramel cup, macadamia coconut cream, kaffir lime caramel cup, raspberry fudge truffle, superberry cup, matcha fudge truffle, and more!

I have tried the Blondie Bar, a coconut macaroon bar with the edge dipped in chocolate, which contains lucuma, one of my favorite butterscotch-flavored superfoods. This tastes like pure chocolate chip cookie dough mixed with coconut. It is one of their most popular items for good reason! Coracao’s other specialties are their filled chocolate bars. These contain superfood fillings including caramel, kaffir lime-infused caramel, and Rawmond Butter. The Rawmond Butter is like a peanut butter cup but SO much better—it will absolutely blow you away, seriously!

Coracao’s uniquely decadent indulgences can be found online, at various Cafe Gratitude locations, Farmers’ Markets, Whole Foods, and health food stores around the Bay Area. Check their website to see where they sell their delights near you!

[Photos courtesy Coracao. Samples were provided via the kind folks at Coracao, but that doesn’t guarantee a review or anything because we’re hella legit and only write about shit we love.]

This is Vegansaurus raw correspondent Sarah E. Brown’s latest post! Read more by Sarah on Vegansaurus, and visit her personal blog, Queer Vegan Food.

04/03/2012

Order this delicious OCD Sweets candy for Easter! It’s not too late! I think!  »

I’m not exactly sure when Easter is because I’m a heathen and a glutton and don’t wait for holidays to gorge myself on all the treats [Ed note: It’s this Sunday, April 8!]. Anyway, I do know that OCD Sweets is the absolute best and I know this Hoppy Easter Vegg basket of sweets looks crazy amazing so I’m pretty sure you should get all up in it. DO IT.

Seriously, this stuff sells out ridiculously fast so get up on it because if you don’t, you’ll be all hella sad when everyone is eating candy and you’re eating a Clif Bar, TRUST. 

03/12/2012

Vegan wonders never cease! Vegan peppermint patties! I saw these “chocolate peppermint creams” from Summerdown Pure Mint at the Union Market near me and they looked so good, I thought I’d take a chance and check the ingredients! Lo and behold: They are vegan! At least as far as I can tell. 

They don’t taste exactly like York Peppermint Patties, but they are just as good in their own way—maybe better. They are definitely creamier. Plus, Summerdown is super serious about their mint and you can taste it! I don’t know why, but I like it when someone is super serious about their mint. Really, I would eat a million of these in a sitting, they are so good.
You can order from the Summerdown site but it also says their products are available in the U.S. at Whole Foods and Dean and Deluca, if you don’t live near/can’t stand Union Market.

Vegan wonders never cease! Vegan peppermint patties! I saw these “chocolate peppermint creams” from Summerdown Pure Mint at the Union Market near me and they looked so good, I thought I’d take a chance and check the ingredients! Lo and behold: They are vegan! At least as far as I can tell. 

They don’t taste exactly like York Peppermint Patties, but they are just as good in their own way—maybe better. They are definitely creamier. Plus, Summerdown is super serious about their mint and you can taste it! I don’t know why, but I like it when someone is super serious about their mint. Really, I would eat a million of these in a sitting, they are so good.

You can order from the Summerdown site but it also says their products are available in the U.S. at Whole Foods and Dean and Deluca, if you don’t live near/can’t stand Union Market.

03/08/2012

Vegan Easter candy round-up!  »

Hey pals! Easter is coming up! How about a vegan Easter round-up? Don’t mind if I do!

"Speckles" Chocolate Rice Crispy Bunny and Flavored Solid Vegan Eggs from Allison’s Gourmet. This bun is too cute! And I love crispies in my chocolate. These chocolates are also gluten-free and made with fair-trade cocoa. 

White Rabbit Ostara Hare Easter Bunny Vegan White Chocolate from Realist Mermaid on Etsy. These are also gluten-free! Who likes white chocolate? Not me! But I know some people do and this actually sounds really good. It’s flavored with organic Tahitian vanilla bean. Yum!

Vegan Easter assortment from No Whey Candies on Etsy! This collection looks AHMAYZING. 

And don’t forget your vegan creme eggs from Queen Balch! You know we love vegan creme eggs up in this piece

Look at this little guy! This Sjaak’s chocolate bunny is filled with almond butter! My mom loves her some almond butter. And this is great for kids with peanut allergies! A special treat. And you know Sjaak’s uses fair-trade and organic ingredients. 

For those not that into chocolate (you crazy bastards), Vegan Essentials has these cute sugar chicks and bunnies!

Vegan large Easter bunny girl from Chocolate Decadence! Such a pretty lady! This 12” chocolate statue stands up. Good lord! That’s a big bunny.

For you Peeps fans, Sweet and Sara’s Easter Skippers and Sunnys! These are so cute!

Vegan marshmallow chicks covered in chocolate! Dang, son! These look yums. 

From Rose City Chocolatier, a super cute hat box filled with Easter chocolate! This is adorbs. Any kid would die if you got them this!

For another basket, Indie Candy has this great pack of Easter goodies! I love the carrot lollipops, so cute. 

There you go guys, I hope you have a happy Easter if having a happy Easter is something you want!

01/30/2012

Product Review: VonDulce Danish Candy!  »

I got some gratis samples of VonDulce’s handmade Danish candies to try! VonDulce is a vegan-owned business and the creator, Karolina Zakonek, gave me some awesome background info. While hard candies here in the states are often vegan-friendly, they are usually made with corn syrup. In contrast, check out the sugar Karolina uses:

[VonDulce candies] are made with Fair Trade, 100% Organic, Kosher, Evaporated Sugar Cane, which is not filtered through animal by-products, and produced under strict organic standards. The sugar is not treated with herbicides or synthetic fertilizers, and no chemicals or bleaching agents are used. The freshly squeezed Organic Sugar Cane Juice, is evaporated and crystalized on the same day it is harvested. The Sugar Mills are self sufficient, using the crushed cane stalks (called bagasse) as a fuel for the boilers, which generates electricity, so there is no need for fossil fuels. 

Holy crap that’s some serious sugar! Talk about guilt-free. And no bone char! Nice. I already like supporting vegan businesses but that sugar is just so cool, it makes it all the better. Yes, I’m talking about cool sugar.

Karolina grew up in Denmark where hard candy is a common treat. She learned to make these candies the old fashioned way and uses the same recipe candy-masters used in the late 1700s. She orders all her natural flavoring oils from a Danish supplier so she can get the purest ingredients available. She also doesn’t use plastic molds (which is how most candies are made) so you don’t have to worry about toxins and chemicals leaching into the sugar! Wow girl, you are thorough! I appreciate that. 

My official verdict: These candies are the yum! And SO PRETTY! My favorite flavor is the Lemon Pucker. It’s a great mix of sweet and lemony-sour but not too sour. It’s unique too, nothing like a lemon Jolly Rancher or what have you. The Berry Me and Peppermint were yum too. And if you like root beer, the Sassafras is for you! All the flavor of root beer in a little candy. And licorice fans have definitely found their match, apparently that is a Danish fave! Another note: these candies are gluten-free, gluten-free friends!

So if you want to support a vegan biz and eat some tasty, old-fashioned sweets, head over to VonDulce’s Etsy page and go crazy! Oh and hey, on VonDulce’s Facebook page, they are having a little caption contest and you can win candies before Valentine’s day! So check that out!

12/09/2011

Vegansaurus giveaway: Allison’s Gourmet! Yes!!  »

Do you love amazing sweet treats? Are you obsessed with chocolates, caramels, peanut brittles, toffees, truffles, brownies, and everything delicious? If you did not answer yes to all of that then GET OFF THIS SITE! You should know, above all, that we love to eat, and that vegan sweets genius Allison’s Gourmet understands that need, and excels at execution! If you haven’t indulged in Allison’s treats, you’re really missing out. Not only will they kick the shit out of any omnivore treat in taste and appearance, all of Allison’s treats are fair-trade, vegan, and organic. I MEAN COME ON. Plus, her packaging is pretty enough that you don’t even have to wrap it. You’ll save millions of dollars on wrapping, for real.

Now, what are my personal favorites, you ask? SOPHIE’S CHOICE! But also, I cannot get enough of the mind-blowing Chocolate-Almond Toffee, the absolutely ridiculous Salted Chocolate Caramels, the perfectly sweet and rich Peppermint Bark, and the beautiful and extremely tasty truffles. Oh, and the peppermint drinking chocolate! Holy crap! So good! If anyone ever enrolls me in the brownie, cookie, or fudge of the month clubs, I promise to have all your babies or never have a baby with you, whichever you prefer. 

Now that you want to eat all of that, you might as well start with some freebies! The lovely Allison has generously offered a $20 Allison’s Gourmet gift certificate to one lucky Vegansaurus reader! For your chance to win, just tell me what your dream Allison’s Gourmet confection would be. Let your imagination run wild, you little vegan piggy. It can be mayonnaise peony, or peanut butter marshmallow sriracha for all we care! Actually, that second one might be pretty good, right? The winner will be chosen randomly next Friday, Dec. 16. Yay Allison’s Gourmet, we love you!!!

If you want to find out about more offers from the delightful Allison’s Gourmet, follow them on Twitter and Facebook DO IT! Now, let’s stare at truffles and caramels and be very happy:

10/28/2011

Giving out vegan candy this Halloween? Don’t forget to add your house to the list!  »

Help the lil’ vegan kids have a happy halloween! Give out vegan candy and make sure they can find it by registering at No Trick Treats! My favorite vegan candy is of course Pennsylvania’s own Peanut Chews. Those are the yum. Is anyone giving out vegan candy? Oooo my brother gives out candy, I should totes make him go vegan this year and add him to the map! I’m getting one family member at a time!

10/17/2011

Rock Candy Snack Shop in Bernal Heights! Hello, I love you.  »

Rock Candy Snack Shop is really cute, and you need to go there! Tons of vegan candies and chocolates and Halloween treats and it’s really adorable and owned by a super nice lady who is specifically catering to vegans so hey, like I said, go there, get fat, get happy, and LIVE YOUR LIFE IN STYLE!

And GET THIS BRITTLE FOR SURE, it’s SO GOOD, G’DAMN:

09/01/2011

Rescue Chocolate: greatest company ever, order everything!  »

You guys all know about Rescue Chocolate, right?! If you don’t it’s probably because you’re less charitable and compassionate than I but it’s okay. I will illuminate you and in return, you owe me your first born. Now, don’t EVER EVER had a kid and we’re even stevens!

Rescue Chocolate is an all vegan chocolate company that donates 100% of their proceeds to animal rescue. HOW RAD IS THAT? And the actual chocolate? I tried it this weekend when I was in Portland (JEALOUS?) and it was SOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOD. I had the Peanut Butter Pit Bull, which I bought strictly because it has a cute-ass pit bull on it, and I was expecting to LIKE it but I LOVED it! Usually dark chocolate is just too bitter for me because I’m a delicate flower but this was SO good — peanut butter mixed with rice krispies (SO SMART) and then coated with creamy dark chocolate. It tasted like a high-class Butterfinger and you know what they say about those things: If you lay a finger on my Butterfinger, I’ll murder your whole family.

Order everything (or buy at a local store if you live somewhere great) because they really are the absolute greatest and all vegan and all delicious and about to be all mine, so HURRY!

Inside pic of a PBPB, GIVE IT TO ME:

UPDATE 9/2/11: I am bummed to find out that Rescue Chocolate isn’t on the Food Empowerment Project’s list of places that don’t use slave labor to get their chocolate. I am sorry I didn’t check the list first, because it’s such a good guide and I really do want to support places that are guaranteed happy for everyone. Rescue Chocolate, please use the good stuff so I can go back to ordering massive quantities on the reg!

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